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Cyclone Ockhi: Reports of thousands of fishermen stranded untrue, says Sitharaman

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

As the Cyclone Ockhi intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, Union Defence Minister on Saturday said the reports of thousands of fishermen stranded in the cyclone were false and the number of missing fishermen was 97.

"The Indian Navy, Coast Guard, have rescued fishermen from and too. Per the letter from Chief Secretary, missing Tamil Nadu fishermen is 97. Rescue operations are continuing" she said in a tweet.

Sitharaman further said at least 71 fishermen have been rescued from Tamil Nadu till now.

"The Coast Guard is at it, with all its strength to rescue the rest. Hoping for good news soon," she tweeted.

The defence minister also thanked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for helping Kerala's fishermen, who were caught in the cyclone and reached Maharashtra's Devagad minor port today.

The chief minister said his would look after the fishermen till "weather permits them to go back".

"In all 68 fishing boats have reached, out of which 66 are from and 2 from Tamil Nadu with total 952 fishermen on board. All are safe," Fadnavis said in a tweet.

He further said orders have been given to Maritime Board and Sindhudurg District Collector to make all arrangements for the stranded fishermen.

Earlier in the day, Meteorological Department claimed that cyclone Ockhi would intensify in the next 36 hours and move Northwest in the next three to four days.

"Cyclone circulation lies over South-West bay of Tamil Nadu, also well marked low pressure area over south Andaman sea and neighbourhood is persisting. Low pressure expected to intensify over next 36 hours expected to move in 3-4 days in North West direction. This situation is being monitored," director of Chennai's Met department told ANI.

Cyclone Ockhi has lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and on Saturday with torrential rainfall and gusty winds.

Seven people, five in Trivandrum and one each in Kollam and Kasaragod districts have died.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 02 2017. 23:28 IST